India: Time to Put an End to Slavery

By Nick Grono. Newsweek. 25 November 2014.

I met a 15-year-old girl, a Dalit, or “untouchable,” in Varanasi, India, last month. Kidnapped by a member of her village, she had been raped and sold to a brothel in Mumbai hundreds of miles from her home.

When she was finally rescued, she and her family had the courage to go to the police to file a complaint against her trafficker. Her ordeal was ignored. The police had no interest in investigating the enslavement of a Dalit girl.

With the support of her family and help from one of the partner organizations in India of the Freedom Fund, the charity I work for, which is dedicated to ending modern slavery, the girl got a lawyer to file her complaint. Her reward was to become the target of a sustained campaign of harassment not just from the police but the leaders of her village, too, who were concerned about the damage a prosecution for slavery would do to their standing. The Dalit girl and her family were forced to go into hiding.

That’s what the weak rule of law in India means in reality.

Read the rest of the article in Newsweek here.

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